Mas la Serra to Joanetes: Enter the heart of the Collsacabra, a high isolated plateau with views across the whole of the Garrotxa. After visiting the hermitage of Sant Miquel de Castelló perched on a rocky outcrop, descend into the valley below to spend the night (5.9 miles, 3 hours). Or, a more challenging route with magnificent views takes you via the delightful village of Hostalets d’en Bas (8 miles, 4 hours).
Needless to say we went for the more challenging route! Estimated to be 8 miles the challenging part made it seem much longer. It was a Sunday and when we arrived at Hostalets there was no lunch table to had.
The Route Booklet, again, adds this :
“You follow country lanes for much of the walk and then paths up to Sant Miquel de Falgars. This is a wonderful viewing point and would be a lovely place for a picnic. From here your route descends (steeply in places) on the GR [Gran Recorrido or Grandes Randonées in France – a network of long-distance paths throughout Europe] route through thick woodland. The path can be very slippery after rainfall, particularly the steep descent from the Chapel to Joanetes. We recommend the wet weather route if there has been a lot of rain recently.”
Luckily, (or unluckily??), there had been no recent rain. At least the rain the evening before had been very localised and had not penetrated the solid canopy of the thick forest below the Chapel. We made it to the bottom without incident.
A Beautiful Morning with Wondrous Views of the Snow-Capped Pyrenees
We passed the little church and settlement at Falgars d’en Bas
And from the path we could see our destination before the steep descent Sant Miquel de Castello (top left)
Sunday at Sant Miquel. It’s a very popular place – I’m surprised to snap a picture of it with no people in sight
I don’t know what it says but part of route was on the pilgrim path – The Camino de Santiago (The Way of St James) – note the stylised scallop symbol.
The View from Sant Miquel before we headed (literally!) straight down to the valley bottom
The steep descent
Looking back up to Sant Miquel
A beautiful day’s walking indeed.